Jo’s Blog: Salamander Day 3

The morning routine of eggs, bacon, sausages and toast is on the minds of the young people today and they can’t wait to head upstairs. As soon as they have breakfast on their plates the room falls silent as they munch their way through the plateful. It’s good to see clean plates but must stop them eating another plateful as they need to fit into the dry suits in a while. So once the tables are cleaned it’s downstairs to get kitted up ready for Nicky’s favourite day.

Downstairs in the garages the kit has been put on each chair and named so we can get changed as quick as we can, every moment is needed at Coate Water so it’s all hands-on deck to change. First to get on is the fluffy onesies in a fetching grey this year for some of us or black for others. Then the dry suits are eased onto the young people. This is the hard bit as the neck is designed to be very waterproof so is extremely tight to get over wriggling heads. Once this is all done they are zipped up and PFD’s are put on (I remember from last year!!) helmets and gloves are added to create an airtight young person. Now I’m not allowed to do zips up as I have a track record with Nicky and Abi and a little leakage last year. Soon we are put onto the transport according to Nev’s list. The man with the plan! All good and off we head.

Once at Coate Water it’s down to the side of the lake and the first activity is rescuing the instructors who are now floating around on their backs having far too much fun. So the lines are thrown in to rescue and pull them back. They all did very well, especially as it’s a challenge to see what they are doing, you see (or not as in this case) we take their glasses off not to lose them in the water so a few are as blind as a bat and just go with throwing and hoping. Now they have all had a go it’s time for them to join us in the water and have fun.

A few brave ones go with the instructors and swim over to the other side. You will need to read Nicky’s blog for that as I stay where I can feel the bottom of the lake, and of course to look after those who want to stay in the shallow area. Soon we added the walkway to the water which pleased Luke, he had been waiting patiently at the side waiting for his ride onto the water. Now it’s everyone for themselves on the walkway as they try to push each other into the water. They love this bit and it creates great footage for Fraser’s DVD clips. All too soon it’s time to go back, first though we are hosed down before getting the dry suits off. Some of us are hosed down a little more than I think is needed Steve!!

Everything is packed into the lockers on the engines and we head back to the station for lunch.

Because everyone is at Coate Water all morning we need to wait until Nicky has lunch prepared so we get to watch and sing along to a few music clips chosen by the young people. A wide variety from Gangnam style, Ben E King stand by me, to Frozen!

Lunch is ready and it’s upstairs, they are all very hungry by now and once again the food is swooped up and they settle to eat. Where do they put it all?

Back downstairs to watch a DVD about escape plans for your home. They all surprise me and answer the questions correctly on what to do in a fire. So now you can plan your home escape plans with help from your young person. Next, we go into our colour groups and look at hazard posters where they need to spot the hazard. Good spotting from all teams. Each hazard they find they have to pop a little round sticker on. This caused a few laughs as those stickers don’t always go onto the sheet and just when you think you have it, it’s still on your finger!

Now, I’m not the best in water, but today has been great. Seeing the smiles and hearing them laugh is worth every moment. I hope you’ve all looked through the pictures. There are many more but you need to wait to see those on the movie night!

I really do hope they all sleep well tonight as we have an exciting day tomorrow as well.

Good night all.